World Travel 2013-2014, Training in Muay Thai

Our final two days in Phuket were rather interesting as we travelled up to Thalang to Sumalee Boxing Gym to participate in two training sessions. Our first session was in the afternoon from 4pm to 6pm, and was my first experience of Muay Thai (Takeshi had done a small amount of training in it before). I can’t say the first session was an overly fun experience. Being new to Muay Thai, I wasn’t sure what to do and was having some trouble understanding the trainers which made the first session rather confusing – and I’m sure they were having trouble understanding me!

The second session in the morning from 7:30am to 9:30am went a lot better after figuring out some of the differences with the Muay Thai kicks and punches. The training sessions consisted of:
– skipping rope broken up with push ups, sit ups and squats for warm up
– static and dynamic stretching
– one on one with a trainer correcting your kicks, punches and blocks (approximately 4 or so ’rounds’, broken up with push ups, sit ups and squats)
– bag work focusing on punches, kicks, knees etc depending on what the instructor called (again, approximately 4 ’rounds’, broken up with even more push ups, sit ups and squats)
– group bag work, with either the trainer holding the bag or two students punching / kicking the same punching bag at the same time (or alternating depending on the technique)
– pair sit ups (in our case, Takeshi and I were paired together and had to do 50 sit ups)
– cool down and stretching

Actually, after every ’round’, or transition to a new activity, or before every water break there were at least 10 push ups, sit ups or squats. Sit ups were ok, but the push ups… they didn’t go as well after a few rounds.

There were a few things that I found very different and took a while to adapt to in comparison to our Taekwondo training.

For starters, I’m not used to wearing hand wraps and had never worn boxing gloves before. The first training session I couldn’t feel the fingers in my left hand after a while from the tightness of the wrapping, and have to admit that the weight of the gloves wore out my arms even faster (all the push ups probably didn’t help either). Second session I learnt my lesson, and kept my hands spread out during the wrapping process – it certainly helped ensure the wraps weren’t as tight and huzzah could almost feel my fingers by the end of training!

Punching or kicking boxing bags is also not something I normally do. While I’m used to mitts or a training partner, my hands and legs definitely did not hold up as well after attempting to hit a very solid boxing bag. Will have to work on that one.

Finally, I learnt I strongly dislike skipping rope…

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